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Publix to offer eligible workers paid parental leave

Publix employees have something to look forward to next year.

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Publix will offer eligible full- and part-time employees paid parental leave within the first year after birth or adoption, Action News Jax reported.

The new leave policy will go into effect on Jan. 1.

Employees must have worked for the company for at least a year with the amount of paid parental leave granted dependent on the length of service with the company and if the employees are hourly or salaried at the time.

Five years of employment will get part-time employees up to 4 weeks off while full-time workers will get up to 6 weeks off, Action News Jax reported.

Part-time workers need to have a weekly average of 24.04 hours in the 52 weeks leading up to the leave.

The company employs 225,000 people and is one of the 10 largest-volume grocery stores in the country. It had sales of $44.9 billion last year, Action News Jax reported.

Paid Leave for the United States (PL+US), a nonprofit which has launched a national campaign to win paid family and medical leave by 2022, provided Action News Jax with a statement regarding Publix’s new paid parental leave policy. In 2019, PL+US ranked Publix as having the worst paid family leave compared to other companies.

“While this is a step in the right direction, two weeks of paid parental leave falls far short of what families actually need. It makes no sense for Publix to give different amounts of leave to different groups of employees -- the babies of hourly workers need their parents just as much as the babies of salaried workers. It shouldn’t be an elite benefit to be able to heal from childbirth or care for your newborn. The inequality in this policy only makes it more clear why we need Congress to act now and pass national paid leave for all, so that everyone can be there for their families in the moments that matter most” Orli Cortel, senior advisor of PL+US, said.